Austrian Constitutional Court: Considering Climate Change as a Public Interest is Arbitrary – Refusal of Third Runway Permit Annulled

and Birgit Hollaus
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  • Department of Socioeconomics, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna, Austria
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In the present case, the Constitutional Court found that in having considered climate change as public interest opposing the permitting of a third runway at Vienna International Airport, the deciding court had comprehensively misjudged the applicable law and thus acted arbitrarily. ‘Climate change’, the public interest in climate protection respectively, is not a public interest reflected in the Austrian Aviation Act, which the deciding court relied upon; interpreting the Act in light of the Austrian Federal Constitutional Act on Sustainability cannot newly found such a public interest. Highly anticipated, the judgment of the Constitutional Court surprises with its line of reasoning in arriving at this conclusion.

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The Vienna Journal on International Constitutional Law (ICL Journal) endorses an approach towards a coherent understanding of International Constitutional Law, thus preparing the ground for novel answers to the challenges of a changing global legal framework. Advised by a body of distinguished jurists, the Journal publishes high-standard peer-reviewed contributions by scholars and legal professionals from around the globe.